Gilman pulls out 20-14 win

Simmons' 10-yard TD run in overtime lifts No. 1 Greyhounds past Georgetown Prep


High schools

September 25, 2005|By Ryan Basen | Ryan Basen,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

ROCKVILLE — On a first down at the Georgetown Prep 10 in overtime, Gilman quarterback Marco Simmons ran right, cut to the outside and dived for the goal line.

When he connected with the pylon, Gilman coach Biff Poggi could finally exhale.

After a lackluster week of practice and an uneven performance in their Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference opener yesterday, the No. 1 Greyhounds defeated the host Little Hoyas, 20-14, on Simmons' score.

In the ensuing moments, Gilman players and coaches were more relieved than jubilant.

"I was really concerned about the game the whole week," Poggi said. "This was a scary, scary game."

Although Gilman controlled the game (it ran 59 offensive plays to 41 for Georgetown Prep, and amassed 101 more yards of offense), the Greyhounds were hampered by mistakes.

Gilman (3-0) lost three fumbles, including one inside the Georgetown Prep 1-yard-line.

Another Gilman miscue, a roughing-the-kicker penalty on a Georgetown Prep punt in the second quarter, led to the Little Hoyas' first score of the game, a 1-yard sneak by quarterback Andrew Aldrich.

After Georgetown Prep (2-1, 0-1) lost a fumble, Ben Eaton scored on a 1-yard run to give Gilman a 14-7 edge in the third quarter.

But Gilman returned the favor when tailback Sean Price was stripped at midfield midway through the fourth quarter. Nine plays later, Aldrich hit halfback Ryan Shuler in stride for a 17-yard touchdown. Casey Dobyns' kick made it 14-14 with just over two minutes to play.

Neither team could move the ball again in regulation, and Georgetown Prep, which is ranked 20th in the Washington area, got the ball first in overtime. On fourth down from the 2, Gilman linebacker David Johnson stuffed tailback Marcus Dowtin inches from the goal line.

On the next play, the Greyhounds, who had run most of their plays up the middle, surprised Georgetown Prep by calling for Simmons to keep the ball and sweep right. He followed pulling blockers, cut toward the sideline and hurdled a defender. When Simmons' arms knocked the pylon over, the officials signaled for the game-winning score.

"They stacked in the middle," said Simmons, who had 56 yards rushing on 10 carries. "I knew right before the play that we were going to get a touchdown.

It was the second straight overtime road victory for Gilman, which defeated St. Joseph Prep (Pa.), 22-19, last week.

That triumph and a season-opening, 22-19 victory over DeMatha may have sapped the Greyhounds a bit coming into yesterday's game, Poggi said.

"These last two weeks," he said, "have been numbing."

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